The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My flour gets pretty hot-is it my WonderMill?

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clazar123's picture
clazar123

My flour gets pretty hot-is it my WonderMill?

Whenever I grind my wheat, I have to put it in the freezer,first, so that when I mill it, it won't get so hot. It can get to 120F!!

I have a Wondermill that is about 3 yrs old and it has pretty much done this from the start. I love bread made from my fresh ground flour but I have to say I am not impressed by the Wondermill. It was not cheap! It is made with a very flimsy plastic and static is a real problem when you are trying to empty the plastic receptacle. The internal cup depended on a very thin plastic to hold it in place by twisting the cup slightly and wedging it up against the thin flange. You can guess how long that lasted and I prob should have returned it but didn't.I may do a different post looking for a recommendation for an older-non-plastic grain mill.

So is this heating of the flour a typical experience? I do grind on a pretty fine setting  ("pastry" on the dial) but that is how I like the flour texture.

 

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

My Wolfgang mill raises the temperature of 70F flour to 90F, grinding as finely as I feel comfortable spacing the stone burrs.  I take that to mean if I ground flour on a 90F day then I would get 110F flour.

How hot really matters, if you are going to use the flour immediately?

My husband bought me the Wolfgang mill for my birthday, after we both watched some videos on YouTube.  After watching several videos we both felt that the Wolfgang was worth the extra money for its better design and materials, compared to the Nutrimill.  I use mine every day, to grind oats with flax for breakfast, and sporadically for various types of wheat for baking.

Crider's picture
Crider

After all, it is a must that my bread reach at least 190° F internal temperature when I bake, so is it really a problem if the flour comes out of the mill at 120°. 

I do know you an get replacement parts, such as that flimsy cup, for your Wonder from them. Older mills are on ebay regularly and sometimes on your local Craig's List.

My only advocacy is there are advantages to getting a mill for making stone-ground flour.

charbono's picture
charbono

On a tight setting, my Retsel Mil-Rite will raise the temp of hard spring wheat 40°F, after milling several pounds.

 

 

 

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

...if you'd like to lower the temperature.  Mine is not a Wondermill, it's a Blend-Tek, but it gets the flour hot as well.  I have measured it, but I've slept since then.  Chilling a batch of wheat berries to 40F  in the fridge solves the problem, but I've only done that once.

FF

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I am chiming in with MangoChutney.  I have a NutraMill which is similar to the Wonder Mill.  It wasn't working correctly so had to be sent in for repairs.  Panic set in as I use it numerous times a day since I bought it about 1 1/2 years ago.

I knew I wouldn't last long without baking so I decided to check out what other mills there are 'out there' on line and when I saw the KoMo mill - Wolfgang - and talked to someone at Pleasant Hills Grain I was sold instantly despite the price tag.  

If you are considering purchasing a new mill I recommend  KoMo for many reasons:

  • Ease of use.
  • Low noise.
  • No mess to clean up.
  • Wide variety of settings for fineness to coarseness of  grains.
  • Magnificently constructed out of beech wood.
  • Looks wonderful on my counter compared to the much larger plastic NutraMill.

It does heat up the grain as any milling will do.  I simply adjust the dough temp. by mixing with ice water so it is no problem.

Here is the link to Pleasant Hill Grains.  They are the only company selling mills that I got to answer the phone! ( Called several other places and sent emails and got no responses.)  They also sell a variety of styles of the mill and they back up any product that they sell.  I received my mill in 2 days via FedX - no shipping charge either.  (They are in Nebraska and I am in Colorado so that helped shipping time BUT it was sent out immediately.  I called on a Wed. night and it was on my front doorstep at 9:30 AM Friday!)

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/KoMo_grain_mill_wolfgang_flour_mill_grinder_mills.aspx

(I do not work for PHG nor do I know anybody who does....I am just a very pleased customer and have been ever since I began baking and buying from them.)

Good Luck in your search.

Take Care,

Janet

 

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I want to thank you for posting that link.  I had been to that website but had not looked at the mills page because I already had enough mills, or so I thought.  I bought the manual flaker, the larger one.  Delivery was amazingly fast.  I have not yet made something with flaked grain, but I tried it out on some oats.  It made something that was identifiably rolled oats, although they were oval rather than circular.  I managed to force some almonds through it also, but I think I prefer using my malt crusher for the almonds.  I look forward to putting through some small spices, next time I want some crushed.

68guns's picture
68guns

Most large commercial mills have the flour coming of the reduction roll passages at around about 90F, this is then cooled by the use of pnuematics leading to the sifter section of the mill. I would hazard a guess and say anything upto 120F has a chance of damaging the gluten structure within the flour.

Have you checked that you are not overloading the mill with too much product and making it work too hard. Also beware that flour is a combustable compound and with temperatures that high, a source of ignition could cause a form explosion in your mill. This could lead to harm to yourself and damage to your property.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Flour is indeed combustible.  However, the ignition temperature is far above anything your mill will produce, so don't panic that you are on the verge of a fire.  An explosion in your mill just isn't going to happen.  Period.  A flour explosion (or grain dust, or wood dust, or cotton dust, or...) requires that a large quantity of the dust be suspended in the air in an enclosed space and that an ignition source be present.  A home mill can't produce the aerosol density required to support an explosion or a flash fire.  Use your normal good sense practices for handling home-milled flours that you use for handling purchased flours and you'll never have a problem. 

Paul

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I have the earlier verison, the Whispermill, and while it does warm the flour,  I did some testing and confirmed that it didn't heat it to the extent it damaged the flour, though I can't recall at exactly what temp that was said to occur, or what temps I got with my flour.   I just did a search and this site says that loss of nutrients begins at  112 to 115, are more pronounced above 122, and that damage in bread quality occurs over 140 http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Choosing-A-Grain-Mill.aspx?page=2

I usually keep a small amount of the berries in the fridge and use that to go in the mill just to be on the safe side.  You might want to try that because it might be easier on the mill rather than frozen berries.  I think Pleasant Hill did a video where they tested a number of the mills, including Wondermill, and found that the wonder mill did not increase the temperature too much, and it was pretty fast compared to some other mills, but according to their website, the company has changed hands and they no longer carry it, and I don't see the video on their website.

 

I just did a test, the berries were from the refrigerator and were 40 degrees F, the house temp is 75, and I ground several cups of red spring wheat - I checked the temp within a few seconds of the machine coming to a stop using both a thermopen and an IR and the highest temp I could find was 109 at the very top, but most was 99 or less.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I do set the output at "Pastry" which is the finest setting so I imagine it has the highest friction which increases the temperature. I just didn't like the grainer flour when it was set at "Bread". It was more like a fine cornmeal at that setting. 

My flour definitely gest up to 120F if I don't chill the berries first,at this setting, and I am concerned about starch degradation.That was why I posted. I wondered if others had this issue.Seems it is a concern but my machine seems to run hot in this area.  I don't think freezing the berries makes them more difficult for the mill to grind. My thought was it made the berry more brittle and easier to fracture thus making it easier to grind. I will continue to do that.

The KoMo mill looks quite beautiful but way beyond my current price range. I will have to create a fund for future purchase.

MangoChutney-a malt crusher?Manual flaker? Wow! Sounds like some interesting gadgets reside in your kitchen/workshop! I'd love to see them in action!

Thank you,PMcCool for the voice of reason. I had no worries-I don't panic easily. Still loving the Lesotho pictures.

Thank you,68guns for the cooling info but this home mill is not capable of being overloaded (hopper restricts that) and is not left unattended when running. Grain explosions are nasty but not an issue in my kitchen.

barryvabeach-your temp measurements were very helpful! Thank you!

The budget will be saved for a new mill and I'll be scouring the search features when the time comes.

Thanks for the feedback.

 

 

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

The malt-crusher is what is called a Corona mill.  It and several knock-offs, all apparently made in third-world countries using chromed pot metal, are often touted as grain mills.  They work in a similar fashion but the plates are just crudely ridged metal and cannot make a powder from grain - not unless you count the powdered metal that is made if you let the plates rub together.

The flaker is neat, though.  It is a roller mill with two cone-shaped rollers.  The rollers are side-by-side, with the cones pointing in opposite directions.  They have concentric rings of texture, that served to pull things into the gap between them.  You set that gap with an uncalibrated knurled knob.  I am sure there is something about that in the instructions, which are printed in German and are not available in English on the website.

I just finished attempting to translate some of the German instructions that came with the Flocino.  Yahoo and Google give differing errors.  Yahoo thinks the instructions warn that grains harder than oats will turn into stucco if you don't moisten the grain before flaking it.  Google, in another section, thinks moistening the grain allows it to be better used as grouting in the human digestive system.  *giggle* 

The gist of it is that you are supposed to rinse the harder grains briefly in water and then let them sit for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight, before rolling them.  I can tell you that rolling an almond in the flaker was not useful.  In addition to not making very good flakes, it made almond butter which did not come out.  It was easily wiped off the rollers, but this is not a useful treatment for almonds especially since I had to force the nut into the machine to start with.  This does not qualify as the right tool for that job.  *laugh*